Arsenal are exploring the prospect of signing Barcelona striker David Villa. The Daily Mail says Arsene Wenger and his backroom team have discussed a January swoop for Villa, a forward the Gunners boss has admired for several years.

The Gunners would rather take the 31-year-old on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal depending on how he takes to the Premier League.

But if the price is right, Arsenal would stretch to a long term deal in January.

Sources in Spain indicate Barca could let Villa leave should he indicate a preference to depart given his lack of first-team football.